Archive for ‘Vintage’

March 8, 2018


International Women’s Day – Dot Smith aka Marjorie Dare defying gravity around “The Wall of Death” at the historic Kursaal amusement park in Essex, England, 1938.

February 23, 2018

Rouge dans la Nuit

Red Molly – flowing crimson locks under a moonlit star-studded sky. The muse in Richard Thompson’s most known song; who was given the keys for a ’52 Black Lightning by her dying beau James Adie, as he gasps his last breath from injuries sustained from armed robbery.

Illustrator Brett Breckon from the UK has created a stunning vision of le femme Moto.

Using a process called scraperboard it is the removal of black ink to reveal a white subsurface. The dark mass of a Vincent and it’s leather-clad rider are perfect for such a media.

January 7, 2018

Of Steam & Spire

D’ya like that? – Fred Dibnah, steeplejack: after a BBC documentary in the late 70’s he became the face and voice of a fading British hands-on industrial past. A lofty career starting in the repair of, and later felling, the chimneys of the Lancashire cotton mills. His interests broadened to the technology of Victorian steam power, both for machining and traction. It would come to no surprise then that one of his first modes of transport was a 1927 350cc AJS motorcycle that he purchased for 21 guineas. One of his first major jobs was to gild the weather vanes on Bolton parish church. He later claimed that he only got it because he turned up to give an estimate on this motorcycle, to which the vicar took a shine. Behind him is his beloved steamroller ‘Betsy’ named after his mother. He received an MBE from The Queen in 2003 just before he died.

September 12, 2017

Pygoscelis adeliae

Penguin – in the Antarctic realm all around you is white… so you have to bring your color with you. Here’s resourceful aussie Frank Scaysbrook with his 350 Velocette, Adele, the sledding malamute, and a nonplussed Adélie penguin on his lap. Location is the research base at Mawson, in Wilkes Land, Australian Antarctic Territory 1968

August 23, 2017

The details are not the details. They make the Design

B&W – beautiful ’38 Velocette KSS. This single cylinder 350cc is vintage platinum best. Kam (Camshaft) Super Sport these saw racing success in the Twenties.  It’s the same model Charles & Ray Eames sat on in this wonderful portrait.

August 21, 2017

Red ‘n’ Green

On Show – there was some superb vintage cycles on show yesterday; here’s a small selection: a forest green Triumph TRW. The military 500cc side-valve developed for multi-use tasks: courier, sidecar, MP. A smart item that’ll keep service like a Sam Browne belt holding a holstered Webley revolver.

Orion’s Belt – This ’37 Ariel Red Hunter was parked up with a polished engine, gauge cluster, and high pipes. Tomato red tank accent and gold pin-stripe adds a splash of color. These were the sports bikes in the pre-war period. 

The Green Enduro – New knobbly off road tires behoove this ’68 Sachs powered Penton 125 Six-Days KTM built ‘crosser. Would be a good woods bike to hare through the forests of Michigan; which it looks like this one already does!

August 20, 2017

On Reflection…

Window Shopping – I went to the Norton Owners of Chicago’s Vintage Motorcycle Show earlier today. It was held in the parking lot at MCC in Villa Park – Triumph, Ducati & KTM dealer. The blog posts next week will cover the exhibited offerings; but in the meanwhile I had a gander at the newer motorcycles neatly lined up in the showroom. This is a T120R Bonneville..  quite splendid.

August 8, 2017

Rad V-Eight

Surfs Up! A golden varnish accenting on a cool 1940 Ford Woodie Station Wagon. Blue sky reflecting on polished hub caps and a long board strapped to the roof. Vintage destination decals adorn the rear windows and a Native American blanket covers the rear seats. So Cal here we come! Parked at a gas station forecourt in Wilmette IL.

June 22, 2017

Cover Art

Magazine Cover – for a bob you could pick up some good periodical reading material back in the sixties. A 1911 Triumph Model H was vintage even back then… Gordon Little is looking smart in his macintosh and beret. One color as long as it’s blue!

February 11, 2017

International Motorcycle Show

On Display – plenty of new motorcycle models to ogle over, swing a leg over, and consider as real-world rides. The vast acres of Rosemont Convention Center contained the shiny, colorful products of the two-wheeled industry. Obviously Triumph was well represented, but we also enjoyed the models from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and the Big Kawasakis. Indian Vee-Twins; Royal Enfield singles; Guzzi’s and Ducatis; and the sumptuous Teutonic BMW’s. A splendid collection of vintage cycles, as well as the usual polishes, sunglasses and patches. I’ll spend the coming week posting the show offerings (we don’t need to look at the Moto-chatchkis.)

The Thruxton is a gorgeous bike, but I think I’m a bit tall for it. The larger GS styled bikes are more my going.

Oh yeah! They had complimentary tattoo’s too.

January 16, 2017

Spiritual Speed

Gallipoli Galloper – beautiful period photograph from a century ago of the Reverend Cecil Howard Edwards who served as the army chaplain for the ANZAC troops. I’m sure he experienced the worst of humanity in the Dardanelles. His model of transport is a Triumph Model H 500cc to get around Southern Queensland. 

May 23, 2016

Flex your muscles

Another bevy of two wheeled beauties to behold from the Hebron show. This time a selection of big Zed Kawasakis from the seventies. Each different to their owners tastes but all rideable as hell! 

April 4, 2016

Need a light?

“Over There! The week ahead is just around the corner!” Here’s 20’s light entertainer Leslie Henson pointing the way with wife Madge Saunders acting as driver. Outfit is a late teens Douglas. 

February 11, 2016

The Tail of a …

 A woodland Sprite in its natural surroundings.  A damp day on the Talmag Trial glimmers off this Vincent Comet. It makes my Cub look like a common toerag.   
Girdraulic fork at the front end and a hardtail rear. Phil’s box spine frame acts as the fuel tank for a narrow profile. It’s a nice looking greenlane tool.

Ably photographed by:

January 10, 2016

Watery Shadow

The Swiss Watch of motorcycles: Vincent. Here captured in delicate watercolor by an able handed artist Louise Jennison.